Attend a Conference

About Forward Cities Conference

Once a year, Forward Cities hosts a national conference to deepen connections, strengthen opportunities for collaboration, and advance our understanding and commitment to inclusive innovation and shared prosperity in our communities.

2019 National Conference:

Advancing Inclusive Entrepreneurship

Our annual conference attracts 200+ leaders from over forty cities from around the nation. It is an unparalleled, high-energy opportunity to make new connections and foster existing friendships within a robust learning environment. Every session is designed to provoke and provide practical ideas to advance inclusive innovation in your community. Field trips integrated into the experience allows opportunities to see cutting edge ideas in action and to explore the host city. This year’s conference is scheduled for Pittsburgh, June 12-14!


Registration Fees
$550 Member rate
$600 Non-Member rate

Featured Workshops

  • Community Mapping of Entrepreneurial Journeys: Collecting data from local, under-connected entrepreneurs on barriers to starting and growing a business
  • Network Analysis of Ecosystems: Forward Cities’ evaluation experience and the path forward
  • Case study: Pittsburgh and the City of New Kensington
  • Identifying and Implementing Minimum Viable Solutions: Addressing barriers for launching and growing small businesses
  • Case Study: Kauffman ESHIP program overview
  • Developing a Community Canvas: Taking a process-based approach to addressing local challenges in inclusive entrepreneurship
  • Understanding and Preparing for Opportunity Zone Investment: Equity in Opportunity Zones

Conference Agenda

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

  • Forward Cities Registration
  • Racial Equity Training
  • Welcome Reception
  • Delegations Encouraged to dine on their own

Thursday, June 13, 2019

  • Continental Breakfast
  • Welcome
  • Opening Plenary: Showcasing Pittsburgh’s Entrepreneurs 
  • Workshop Sessions 
  • Lunch Buffet
  • Keynote: Rodney Sampson
  • Pittsburgh Neighborhood Innovation Tours
  • Forward Cities Party 

Friday, June 13, 2019

  • Continental Breakfast
  • Opening Plenary: The Role of Anchor Institutions in Inclusive Economic Development 
  • Break
  • Workshop Sessions
  • Lunch + Closeout Session 

Fall Conference: Miami, FL – November 2018

The fall conference attracted 200+ leaders from around the country and was designed to be an inspirational, hands-on experience. The fall 2018 conference was in Miami, FL November 7-9.

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